To blog or not to blog. To join the now most popular medium of my generation, or to go on writing on subway walls, and little receipts and scraps of newpaper–trusting the celtic currents to take these little lit poems out onto the proper channels and into the correct hearts and spirits..well, maybey both.
Encouraged that there is a standing tradition since Sinai among the Jews, of an oral tradition, which trust that the stories will keep getting passed breath to breath, and somehow retain the resiliency of the truths contained within them, I am ok with not having written too much recently. And yet, there is something about writing–something sacred–the marks on Moses’ tablets–God likes to make marks on earth–to incarnate in syllables and sounds–to reside in the cadences of human language, to commune in the caesuras of our utterances–so we also write.
I hope that language never gets so cheap that we forget that it can also contain being-not just be used to do, but also as a dwelling (and the word became flesh and dwelt!). I like Martin Buber’s take on language as calling forth and carrying the essential things. So that he was able to break language down into that I-it or I thou encounter he so wisely downloaded from above. Anyhow, having said that. I was thinking again of Bono this week–and the usefulness of being ourselves.
I was thinking about how the kingdom actually comes through these uniquely shaped vessels–not just clay, but the vases for glory, we are. CS Lewis once wrote, that if we actually could see one another in the full splendor God created us to be, we would be tempted to fall down and worship one another. Now, that sounds odd at first, until you read Psalm 139 again, and see David staring out at the radiant creation, and then gazing at himself and just being amazed at the meditation on God possible through his own unique identity. If we are truly to love a city, a place, a person, we must also love ourselves with the same wonder and amazement as david did that day! You are lovely, unique, never again to be repeated creation of God.
Few christians i know know how to celebrate themselves. The wonder we are! But I tell you when you meet someone who celebrates the creation that they are–not from an egotistical stance, but in wonderment of God’s amazing creation, and as a way of getting to know HIM. That person is indeed radiant, and the kingdom does come somehow around them. The radiance of selfhood, of personhood–is that not what we pray for when we pray for a city or person–that the unique creation that God made them to be, would shine out so brightly that angels would have to put on sun glasses?
As Christ rises in our hearts, we will see some very shiney people on earth. I think stephen before he was stoned, was absolutely radiant. That Christ life was so shimmering within him, that stephen was absolutely himself.
I think, that christians, in wanting to die to self, have mistakenly entered a poverty of personhood. This must reverse, if we are to trully be the offspring of God which Jesus bought on the cross. Radiant sons and daughters shining so brightly before men, that even our shadows raise people from the dead.
This poverty of personhood starts with the idea that to be ourselves is somehow not spiritual enough. But while the sinful nature must be died to daily, the unique identity which God made us to be must actually be progressively inhabited. This is His inheritance. We are His temple to dwell in. Who are we to renovate! Let His very Life in us be the interior designer of our souls! In truth, we are afraid to be our true selves, for if we do, we risk rejection by others, or alienation from friends, or have to face our actual self hatred. Or are simply embarrassed by the radiance of our own identities in Christ. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain, does not mean that I become blank, it means that as Christ enters me more fully, He shines even more brightly through the unique contours on my being.
God likes us to be ourselves.
God likes to express Himself in multifarious ways-unity with diverse expressions. Each prophet in scriptures has their own way of carrying the word! He obviously likes diversity. One spirit but many members. Germany is not Africa; and I am not you.
Instead of making one blob to house His Being; God made a myriad of expressions which will one day knit together perfectly to reflect The Father Creator fully. “When i look at the world, I see an expression.” Bono sings. Me too! When Christians are trully being themselves on the earth, you will see His Kingdom coming, and it will have a shockingly beautiful expression!
I am in love with certain nations and cities, because I see God in them, and get glimpses of that unique part of His Being. To me to travel is to get to encounter different parts of God. That is when the world becomes a way of knowing and loving God. I must also have this orientation with each person I meet, and with myself. This one instant, this one creation of God, this one poem, fearfully and wonderfully made to house His Glory! This is the wonder of selfhood–to be able to say, this is one poem of what God is like, I will love it, and know Him. And to look at oneself and say, come and pronounce this poem Lord, for your own pleasure oh Great Creator–search me and know me, come enjoy me!